• The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    By Eric Carle



    The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a book about the life cycle of a butterfly starting from an egg.  If you do not have access to a copy of this book, you make access a reading of the book by Eric Carle from my Preschool Links Page.

    I will use this book to demonstrate how you can target your child’s individual goals while reading to your child.  You will be using this book for the next 2-weeks to direct your child’s Speech-Language activities.   So if you are not sure what your child’s specific IEP goals are, you may call me; e-mail me at JoAnne.george@dvusd.org; or join me during my office hours from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday (for the time being)

    Please choose one activity to do with your child at least once during the next 2 weeks.  These activities are meant to help you facilitate your child’s communication development and can be used with a variety of books that you have on hand or may access through the internet.


    Receptive Language

    While reading or even just looking at the pictures together do one of the activities listed below:

    -One-Step Directions:  1. Point to the egg.  2.  Point to the caterpillar.  3.  Point to the (pick a fruit/food).  4.  Point to the leaf.  5.  Point to the butterfly.

    -Two-Step Directions:  1. Put one finger on the egg and tap your thumb on the moon.  2.  Put your finger on the caterpillar and slide your finger to the sun.  3.  Point to a red piece of fruit and then point to the orange.  4.  Count the number of holes on the leaf and turn to the next page.  5.  Show me the butterfly and tell me your favorite color.

    -“Wh” Questions:  1. Who is this book about?  2.  Where is the egg?  3.  What did the caterpillar eat?  4.  What happened to the caterpillar after he ate all of the food and green leaf?  5.  What is the caterpillar’s small house called?  6.  What did the caterpillar turn into?

    -Building Vocabulary:  Point to the fruit that is (choose a color and shape).  Point to the (chose a food and choose two more for your child to indicate knowledge of).  Show me the color green (choose other colors).


    Articulation (Speech Sounds)

    While reading the book aloud to your child, emphasize in your own speech the target sound that your child will be working on for the week.  For example, if your child is working on the /l/ sound you would read “In the Light (emphasize the word) of the moon. A Little (emphasize word) egg Lay (emphasize word) on a Leaf (emphasize word).”

    -Look for at least 5 words in the book with your child’s target sounds or processes: For Example:

    /k/--Caterpillar, came, cone, cake, cocoon

    -Have your child practice his/her target sound in isolation 5 times:  For Example:

    /k/, /k/, /k/, /k/, /k/--Talk about where your tongue is (at the back of the mouth, scraping at the roof of his/her mouth—can refer to it as the coughing sound). 

    -If your child needs help with placement of any sound, please contact me, and I will coach you through how to get correct place and sound production.

    -Practice sound in syllables: For Example:

    “Kay, Kee, Kie, Koe, Koo”

    -Practice 5 words with the target sound at the beginning of words.  Start with an adult model and have your child repeat the word.

    -Take the same 5 words and put each one into a short phrase:  For Example:  Caterpillar on leaf. Came out of egg. Cone is good. Cake is sweet. Cocoon is brown.

    -Multi-syllable words:  Say each word while tapping your finger or clapping each syllable, then have your child repeat after you:  (2-syllable) Morning, Tiny, Hungry, Apple, Cocoon (3-syllable)  Strawberry, Chocolate, Butterfly, Lollipop, Salami  (4-syllable)  Caterpillar, Watermelon, Stomachache

    -Final sounds in words:  Say each word and emphasize final sound production with a tap of your finger on the table or clap on the final sound:  Moon, Pop, Sun, Look, House


    Expressive Language

    While reading or even just looking at the pictures together do one of the activities listed below:

    -Expressive Vocabulary: Say a word while pointing to a picture and encourage your child to repeat the word you say:  Egg, Moon, Sun, Caterpillar, Apple (and/or any other foods you see), Leaf, Butterfly.

    -Increasing Length of Utterance:  Model an utterance depending on where your child is while looking at a pages of the book (“See egg.  I see egg.  I see an egg.  I see a white egg.  I see a white egg on a leaf.  I see a white egg on a green leaf.”).  Encourage your child to repeat your utterance by saying, “Now it’s your turn.  Say….”   (Proceed with activity for 4-5 pages).  You can also make it a game of “I Spy”. 

    -Requesting:  Just as the Very Hungry Caterpillar needed to eat, so does your child.  When getting ready for a meal/snack, hold up two items out of reach (one that you know is a highly preferred item and one that is not) for your child to choose from and ask “Which one?”  As your child reaches for his/her desired item, prompt him or her to say, “(I) want ____.”  Prompting involves a variety of things—an adult model “Say, I want ____.”; it can be sign language with verbal words, picture cards with verbal words or a voice output device where you point or choose the “I want” sentence to make the request.  This needs to be done at least 5-10 times throughout the day to entice your child to develop expressive language.

    -Turn-taking:  You can take turns with your child turning the pages of the book.  You can lead in prompting your child with “My turn” while taking the book in your hand.  Then you can hand the book to your child and model for him/her to say, “My turn” and continue back and forth.  Take turns making a caterpillar out of colorful pieces of paper circles and glue them onto another piece of paper. 



    Play is a perfect way to help your child practice concepts that he/she is learning.

    -Pretend Play:  Act out a favorite book/story/TV show/Movie with your child.  Do a craft with making a caterpillar and pretend to have your caterpillar eat a variety of things around the house.  Make a butterfly.  Play hide and seek with the caterpillar and/or butterfly.  Go outside and see if you can find a caterpillar and/or a butterfly.  Make a list of items to go on a scavenger hunt of various items inside or outside and practice saying the names of things you find.

    -Cooking/Making food together in the kitchen is also a great way to help your child follow directions, talk about what they are making and practice words with his/her target sounds.